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Real world study tests the effects of weather and temperature on MS patients treated with Rebif

A one-year real world study of Rebif (interferon beta 1-a) has shown that relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients experienced high treatment adherence despite seasonal weathers and fluctuating temperatures.

Little is known about whether tolerability and adherence to treatment can be influenced by weather and temperature conditions. The study set out to assess monthly and seasonal adherence to and safety of Rebif in RRMS patients using RebiSmart electronic autoinjector. This data formed the results of this real world study.

Sixty four patients enrolled on the Greek study. All patients received at least one dose of Rebif and were included in the full analysis set. These patients experienced a mean number of 1.5 relapses during the two years prior to starting treatment with the drug.

Of the 64 recruited, 58 patients completed the six-month visit and 47 completed all study visits. All patients self-administered 44 or 22 micrograms of Rebif under the skin three times weekly for 12 months or until early discontinuation.

The results showed that the mean annual adherence was 97.93% in the full analysis set, and 98.32% among patients who completed all three study visits. No significant monthly or seasonal variations were found.

The main reasons for adherence in 31 patients who missed at least one does was forgetting to take the dose, viral infection and not being at home.

The reasons given for quitting the treatment were pregnancy, fatigue, malaise, anorexia, fever and infection.

Ten patients showed three-month disability progression, 19 experienced stabilisation and 18 showed improvement.

Researchers concluded there was high adherence with no significant seasonal or weather variation observed over 12 months. While the efficacy on relapses was consistent with published studies, they could not identify a relationship between relapses and disability.

Source MS-UK 05/12/2018

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